Monday, August 23, 2010

Joe Dallesandro on Film: Lonesome Cowboys (1968)

***A new series, dedicated to my fiancee Kelley, celebrating the legendary beauty and career of Joe Dallesandro in stills and text.***

Taking its name from a haunting Elvis Presley track from the 1957 film Loving You, Lonesome Cowboys (1968) is an Andy Warhol film scripted by Paul Morrissey and shot around the same time as the more well-known Flesh. It would mark one of Joe's earliest appearances on film and it's an unforgettable little production also starring the glorious Viva, Magic Tramp Eric Emerson and Taylor Mead. While Warhol is credited as 'director' of the film, it is pretty much a Morrissey film through and through as he was behind the camera and in the editing room (with Warhol) for it.

Originally titled Ramona and Julian and then The Unwanted Cowboy, Lonesome Cowboys was shot in Arizona in the early part of 1968 and won Best Film at the San Francisco Film Festival that year. Warhol screened the film exclusively at New York's Garrick Theater in the summer of '68 where it smashed all the theater's existing Box-Office records. It would finally make its way through parts of the country in the late part of '68 after the success of Flesh. A few years later The Velvet Underground's fantastic song "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" off Loaded, their final studio album with Lou Reed, took its name from the film.

Joe appears only sporadically through the film (this is really Viva's showcase) but he's unforgettable and it's impossible to take your eyes off him when he appears. Lonesome Cowboys is sadly not currently available in the United States but it is out in Italy from the terrific Raro Video. Enjoy the stills...

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